Ukraine Flag
Graphic ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

How the Russian Invasion of Ukraine is Affecting Travel February 27 2022

Hint: not good news...

That travel is not the utmost issue on the minds of the people of Ukraine would be stating the obvious; and that the shock and dismay of people around the world at the military invasion of that country by Russia is an understatement — but travel is among the repercussions of the conflict which have been reverberating globally in various forms.

How the Russian Invasion of Ukraine is Affecting Travel February 27 2022

First, the airspace over Ukraine was closed to commercial air traffic due to the invasion of armed forces from Russia, which occurred on the morning of Thursday, February 24, 2022. Airlines scrambled to adapt and alter any routes which flew over the country — and the airspace over the countries of Moldova and Belarus were also reportedly closed as well.

The Bureau of Consular Affairs of the Department of State of the United States issued an official notice pertaining to the crisis in Ukraine — which includes recommended areas of land border crossings to neighboring countries — and the Treasury Department of the United States issued links to brochures pertaining to sanctions, frequently asked questions, and other important information against Russia.

Also, the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States issued this official notice which prohibits all commercial operators and air carriers which are based in the United States from flying at any altitude over Lviv, Kyiv, Dnipro, Simferopol, and Odesa effective immediately.

An official statement is currently at the official Internet web site of Ukraine International Airlines which effectively informs that the operation of transporting passengers has been discontinued until further notice for safety reasons.

Aeroflot airplane
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Effective as of Friday, February 25, 2022, Delta Air Lines withdrew its codeshare services operated in conjunction with Aeroflot, which is the national airline of Russia. “We have removed our code from Aeroflot-operated services beyond Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport and removed Aeroflot’s code from Delta-operated services from Los Angeles and New York-JFK”, according to this official statement from Delta Air Lines, which currently does not operate any services to Ukraine or Russia. “Accommodations will be made for customers affected by these changes.”

Meanwhile, all flights which are operated by Aeroflot to destinations within Europe will be canceled until further notice after the decision by many countries to close their airspace in protest of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Aeroflot is still currently a member of the SkyTeam alliance at the time this article was written, with no indication of any boycott of the airline by the alliance itself.

Sanctions against banks in Russia have been imposed with regard to SWIFT — whose formal name is the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which is a cooperative society that is owned by its members; is based in Belgium; and provides services related to the execution of financial transactions and payments between banks worldwide. The main purpose of the sanctions is to restrict the flow of money to Russia in an attempt to financially starve the military incursion into Ukraine — but some unwanted side effects may also be felt, as posted via the official Twitter account of Raf Sanchez, who is a foreign correspondent for NBC News: “My hotel in Moscow asked me to settle the bill early because they aren’t sure if credit cards are going to work once SWIFT sanctions kick in.”

The European Union has announced its solidarity with Ukraine and its people via a number of initiatives — including adopting further restrictive measures “which will have massive and severe consequences for Russia” in response to the aggressive invasion.

For example, Ursula von der Leyen — who is the current president of the European Commission — proposed a set of new measures to leaders in the European Union to strengthen its response to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia while simultaneously crippling the ability of the current president of Russia to “finance his war machine.”

The European leaders agreed on a package of massive and targeted sanctions against Russia and Vladimir Putin, which includes — but is not necessarily limited to:

  • Financial sanctions, targeting 70 percent of the banking market and key state owned companies of Russia — including in defense
  • Targeting the energy sector — which is a key economic area that especially benefits Russia — with European export ban that will hit the oil sector by making it impossible for Russia to upgrade its refineries
  • Banning the sale of aircrafts and equipment to Russian airlines
  • Limiting Russia’s access to crucial technology — such as semiconductors or cutting-edge software
  • Restricting access to the European Union for Russian diplomats and related groups and business people

“For the first time ever, the European Union will finance the purchase and delivery of weapons and other equipment to a country that is under attack”, according to the latest statement attributed to Ursula von der Leyen which was released earlier today, Sunday, February 27, 2022. “This is a watershed moment.”

The airspace over the entire European Union has been shut down and closed off to aircraft which is either owned, controlled, or registered by Russia or Russians, as they will not be able to land in, take off, or fly over any of the territories of the member countries.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has stood his ground in the midst of the chaos which has disrupted the country of which he is the current president — but then, indications of his character long before the hostile invasion by Russia are surfacing. For example, this message was posted at the Twitter account of Benjamin Ramm: “During his inaugural address in 2019, Zelensky told lawmakers: ‘I do not want my picture in your offices: the President is not an icon, an idol or a portrait. Hang your kids’ photos instead, and look at them each time you are making a decision.’”

The torrent of support which has been posted by leaders of countries all over the world at the official Twitter account of Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks for itself.

Then, there are the people of Ukraine itself who are vigorously defending their nation. Just be aware that the following video — which was posted on Twitter — is laced with profanity; but it also speaks for itself.

Final Boarding Call

Strictly in terms of travel, the invasion of Ukraine and its effects means that if you plan on traveling to, from, or within Europe, expect your flights to be delayed, postponed, or canceled altogether — which may be an annoying inconvenience at best…

…but that is certainly a problem and issue which does not even compare to what the people of Ukraine are experiencing, which is fighting for survival as innocent men, women, and children are needlessly being killed or injured, with many people finding themselves suddenly homeless — but as the world is finding out, the people of Ukraine are fiercely loyal to their country and have what seems to be an impenetrable resolve in standing tough for what they believe.

In a show of solidarity which has arguably not been seen in recent history, people in most countries all over the world — including in Russia — have vociferously spoken out in outrage over the actions of Vladimir Putin and have protested in the streets and plazas which dot our planet. The voices of billions of people must be heard; and the violence must stop immediately.

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Ukraine at this time. I truly hope that this armed conflict ends as soon as possible — and definitely not to the detriment of the people of Ukraine.

Graphic ©2022 by Brian Cohen; and photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!